A conversation five years ago changed Diana Heying's life.
A chiropractor for 20 years, Diana would often ask her patients if they had any goals for themselves. At the beginning of each year, she'd ask, "What are you going to do to challenge yourself this year?"
And then, in 2009, one of her patients asked her the same question.
"I was so surprised! No one had asked me that before, and I had to really think about it. And it was then that I realized I wanted to go back to school and get my degree in nursing."
Diana enrolled in a program to get her associate's degree, while maintaining her chiropractic business. A rotation brought her to Sharp — and she fell in love. So spurred on by this love of nursing, Diana is returning to school once again to earn her bachelor's degree in nursing.
"From the beginning, I knew I liked it — all of Sharp, but especially Sharp Mary Birch," she says. "It made sense for me to come here."
Diana is now a volunteer at Sharp Mary Birch, working about 8 hours a week for the Post-Anesthesia Care and Labor and Delivery units. She provides general support — helping nurses, providing warm blankets for new moms, stocking equipment and linens, delivering files, changing beds — essentially, whatever she can do to help.
Her whatever-it-takes spirit was noted by a patient's daughter, who was impressed by Diana's enthusiasm and dedication. The patient's daughter wrote a note, praising Diana for going above and beyond to ensure her mom received the care she needed.
The daughter wrote, "Upon finding out that my mother was at the wrong location, Diana walked with us to Sharp Memorial and got her a wheelchair and the assistance she needed. My mom was very sick and weak, and really needed the extra help that Diana gave her — all with a wonderful attitude and a warm smile."
In turn, the letter warmed Diana's heart: "Receiving recognition is not even on my radar. I volunteer to provide comfort and help others, and I don't expect anything in return. So getting that letter was a surprise, and it made me feel so proud."
The recognition has provided Diana extra motivation — every shift, she now creates a challenge for herself: To put a smile on someone's face at some point during the day.
"If I can make their day better, it makes my day better. I believe that if you touch someone's life, their life will touch yours," she said. "I believe in The Sharp Experience — it's special. You don't just come to Sharp and get health care — you get an entire experience. And it's so exciting that I get to be a part of that. That's why I'm here, that's why I volunteer."
For More Information
To learn about becoming a volunteer at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, visit Volunteer Opportunities. If you have any questions, please read our Frequently Asked Questions. To contact the volunteer office, please call 858-939-3588, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our office located in Trailer E (directly behind the Rehabilitation Center) at 2999 Health Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92123.